South Africa’s Low-Cost Airline Skywise Eyes Pan-African Market

South Africa’s Low-Cost Airline Skywise Eyes Pan-African Market

From HowWeMadeItInAfrica

Skywise is now officially South Africa’s newest low-cost airline having started its scheduled daily flights between Cape Town and Johannesburg yesterday.

Originally the brainchild of the founders of the failed South African airline 1time, Skywise was acquired by PAK Africa Aviation, the Middle Eastern-backed investment firm with a clear interest in the aviation industry. Pak Africa also reportedly has plans to resurrect the 1time name as a pan-African carrier in upcoming years, starting with domestic flights in Zimbabwe.

Skywise is the fourth new airline in the past two years targeting domestic flights. But according to PAK Africa’s CEO and co-chairperson of Skywise, Tabassum Qadir, there is more than enough demand for another low-cost carrier in the South African market.

“According to our research, about four million passengers travel between Johannesburg and Cape Town for the whole year,” she told How we made it in Africa.

“And with all the airlines the capacity available is for three and a half million. So we think that there are a half a million passengers which we can tap into.”

Skywise is currently offering 28 weekly flights at an initial frequency of two return flights a day – an estimated 15,000 passengers per week.

Pan-African ambitions

Qadir said by end of April, the airlines hopes to have increased number of weekly flights to 52, and will also be looking at other routes, such as Port Elizabeth and George.

However, she added that PAK Africa is also in the process of negotiating a merger and acquisition, which will not only introduce new routes domestically, but also regionally.

“I cannot disclose the details of this merger and acquisition but we are negotiating something and it will be [announced] very soon.”

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